Biomaterials for ophthalmic implants - all for one and one for all?

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Having one biomaterial for a wide range of clinical applications may mean that the physico-chemical properties of the material surface needs to be tailored to fulfill the allrequirements of the actual application. One example of tailoring surface properties of one and the same base material may include the definition of areas where cells attach to and deposit extracellular matrix. As for ophthalmological applications, this notion can be traced to de Quensgy's review, published in 1789. There, the author outlined basic features of the keratoprosthesis: a central optical cylinder and a haptic for firm positioning in the surrounding tissue. Incomplete biocompatibility of materials used, aside from issues of ethics and patient's acceptance, render problems. Using chemical, physical and nanotechnological methods, features of the material can be dramatically increased. There are different strategies to induce biomimetic cell-tissue-material interaction by modifying the surface on one base material – as well as the use of metallic biomaterials and drug-containing particles. These findings aid the development of next-generation biomaterials where surface-effects are utilized in different therapeutic clinical applications.

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